Character is like a tree and reputation its shadow. The shadow is what we think it is; the tree is the real thing.
I don't like reputations. That being said, I will be the first to admit that I am guilty of using reputations for a variety of reasons.
Reputations cheat us out of so many things. No one can get a fresh start, forgiveness, or the benefit of the doubt when we put so much stock into the past. I feel great disappointment when I feel like I am being treated in a certain way because my reputation has preceded me.
People can change. People are not the same people they were 10 years ago or even 20 years ago. True, somethings don't change, but I think we should give people a chance. I have tried to give people a fresh start and sometimes their behavior just repeats itself. There have been times when I have given them a fresh start and they use it and I am impressed. I guess, I think reputation is the lazy person's way of having instincts.